Is the risk of COVID-19 exposure impacting your ability to earn a living?
Are you unable to work because of long-haul COVID?
You may be entitled to long-term disability benefits.
Long-term disability insurance pays a monthly disability benefit if you cannot work because you became sick or were injured. Many employees have long-term disability insurance coverage through their employer but have been denied coverage for COVID-related claims.
Being physically impacted by COVID can temporarily derail, or even permanently damage, successful careers. Obtaining long-term disability benefits can make an important difference to you and your families.
Bailey Glasser’s COVID-19 Long-Term Disability team is here to fight for people whose livelihoods have been adversely impacted by the pandemic - for those who haven’t yet gotten COVID, as well as those who continue to be impacted by the disease.
We represent people who can’t safely return to physical workplaces for various health-related reasons. Even if you felt safe at work prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, workplaces today are often dangerous grounds for the immunocompromised, or for people who live with family members who have health vulnerabilities. Being immunocompromised means having a weakened immune system (medical conditions such as a cancer, diabetes, and many other medical diagnoses can cause this) or other health conditions associated with a higher risk of serious complications or death from COVID.
We represent individuals whose careers have taken a detour due to having what is called “long-haul COVID” or “long COVID.” Data is showing that a growing number of formerly healthy people are facing serious and long-term symptoms associated with long-haul COVID-19, which is interfering with their ability to work in the way they used to and is causing immense financial and psychological strain. We represent people who have been denied coverage by their long-term disability insurer even though they have not been able to work for months due to long COVID.
How We Help
Most people who have disability insurance receive a policy through their employers, and a federal statute known as ERISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, is the law that applies to most long-term disability claims. Other federal laws require that employers provide safe and healthy workspaces for their employees. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with new strains developing that are highly transmissible (like Omicron), has these two sets of laws and policies intersecting in ways that are profoundly impacting workers in new ways.
Bailey Glasser is a national leader in protecting worker benefits under ERISA. Our ERISA, Employee Benefits & Trust Litigation team has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in ERISA matters on behalf of our clients, and we are ready to fight for long-term disability you may be entitled to receive.
Our COVID-19 Long-Term Disability team leader, partner Mark Boyko, has recovered more than $500 million in judgments and settlements for his clients, and has successfully fought for his clients — even up to the Supreme Court of the United States. Mark is a pioneer in ERISA class action litigation, representing workers and retirees in many of the earliest cases in his field, holding employers and Wall Street accountable for actions impacting workers.
Our lawyers are among the first in the country to represent clients in long-term disability matters stemming directly from the threats from, and impact of, COVID-19.
Please follow the sections below to read more about how we can help, and please contact us to discuss your matter.
- If You Are Immunocompromised or at High-Risk for COVID (or Who Live with People Who Are)
- If You Have Long-Haul COVID
- The Long-Term Disability Policy Process
To find out more about your rights amid the pandemic, pursue a disability claim, or schedule a free evaluation, contact us today.
Can I obtain long-term disability benefits if I can’t work because I am immunocompromised?
Even with vaccines, there are many people who are immunocompromised and cannot safely get vaccinated or have high risk even after being vaccinated or have other health conditions that make them particularly susceptible to COVID’s impacts.
These are all areas where Bailey Glasser can help, because depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to benefits under your employer’s disability insurance policy.
Bailey Glasser is one of the only firms to have experience successfully representing employees unable to safely continue working because of the dangers of workplace Covid exposure, including getting results in court after long-term disability insurers refuse to pay valid claims under ERISA.
Examples of medical conditions that can result in a vulnerable or compromised immune system include cancer, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, chronic respiratory conditions, diabetes, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, hypertension, leukemia, liver disease, lupus, and lymphoma.
Read more about the long-term disability claims process below.
Please contact us for a free consultation.
Can I claim long-term disability benefits for my “long COVID”?
While many people with COVID-19 get better within weeks, others continue to suffer symptoms for months after becoming infected or may experience new or recurring symptoms later, a condition termed “long COVID.” Data has shown that a growing number of formerly healthy people are facing serious and long-term symptoms associated with long-haul COVID-19.
And for many of these individuals, long COVID does not just affect their physical health, but their mental and financial health. They can no longer handle their customary workloads or responsibilities, and there is “business as usual.” Because long haul COVID symptoms mimic symptoms of COVID-19, long-haulers often feel as if they’ve never recovered.
Persons with long COVID often experience a range of new or ongoing symptoms that can worsen with physical or mental activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Individuals suffering from long haul COVID have also experienced damage to multiple organs, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, skin, and brain, and circulatory system. Others encounter lingering mental health and emotional issues.
Statistics based on several studies have shown that 750,000 to 1.3 million patients have become so sick for such an extended period of time that they cannot return to the workforce full time. The government safety net is not designed to help an emerging disease with no clear diagnosis or treatment plans. Insurance carriers are denying claims, and long-term disability benefits are being denied.
This is where Bailey Glasser can help. Please contact us for a free consultation.
Read more about the long-term disability claims process below.
The Long-Term Disability Claims Process
ERISA protections may apply to long-term disability coverage. Below please find a quick outline of what claimants can expect.
- First, educate yourself about your coverage and benefits. If you don’t know, ask your current or former employer if your company has a long-term disability plan.
- File a long-term disability claim as instructed by the plan.
- The insurance company has a limited amount of time to decide whether to allow or to deny your claim.
- Your employer may not fire you or discriminate against you for filing a claim.
If your claim is DENIED:
- You must be provided a written reason for the denial of your claim.
- Most of our clients contact us at this point. After their claim has been initially denied but before it’s too late
- At your request, you must be provided, free of charge, with copies of your records, including any documents relevant to your claim.
- You must be provided with the right to appeal. Typically, you must be provided at least 180 days to file your appeal. If you miss this deadline, then your right to file an appeal or a lawsuit may be terminated and the initial decision to deny your long-term disability benefit coverage will stand.
- A decision on your appeal should happen relatively quickly – usually, an insurance company has 45 days to make a decision once your written appeal is received. However, the insurance company may also request a 45-day extension. If an extension is requested, then you will be notified in writing.
- If your claim is denied on appeal, then what your options are next depends on the specific provisions of your plan. You may need to go through a second round of appeal, or you may be permitted to file a lawsuit.
- If your claim is denied after one or two appeals (depending on the specifics of your plan) then you have the right to file a lawsuit. We make sure our clients get their cases filed in the right court at the right time.
- Only limited evidence can be submitted in an ERISA lawsuit. Generally, the only evidence that a court will consider is the evidence that was available to the insurance company at the last stage of appeal. That’s why it is important to contact an experienced attorney before you appeal.
Please follow this link from the U.S. Department of Labor for more information.
Bailey Glasser’s COVID-19 Long-Term Disability team is here to help.
If you are suffering from long haul COVID and have been denied long-term disability benefits, contact us today for a free consultation.